An average of 10% of business emails contain sensitive information in the form of hidden data, even with desktop-based metadata removal tools in place, according to a newly released whitepaper published by document lifecycle management experts at Litéra.

The whitepaper Risks in a Mobile World of Hidden Data in Documents describes the implications of increasing mobile device usage at companies and the bring your own device (BYOD) trend. These workplace realities compound the risks associated with sharing damaging information contained in emails and attachments via mobile devices.

The whitepaper draws from independent, third-party industry research, which shows that 40% of all emails are opened with a mobile device or webmail, and nearly a quarter of all business emails sent have files attached to them.

“The reputation of an individual, business or agency can be irreparably damaged by the unintended inclusion of sensitive metadata in a released document,” said Karen Massand, Litéra’s president. “Our research shows how the increase in mobile device usage has intensified the problem and explains the risks and how they can be easily mitigated.”

The whitepaper highlights the need for more stringent security measures, such as the use of metadata cleaning tools, given the prevalence of mobile device usage and people’s increased use of personally-owned tablets to conduct business activities. According to a survey by Cisco, 57% of enterprise IT managers say that employees use personal devices to conduct business. The paper concludes that a best practice is to automatically clean all documents attached to business email, whether they are sent from an office workstation, mobile phone or tablet, eliminating the risk of data leak risks.

The whitepaper, based on an investigation by Litéra researchers and Litéra’s recent survey of mobile device usage and document security, can be downloaded free at the company’s website www.litera.com